DEWSBURY Rams coach Warren Jowitt is backing his young players to bounce back from a four-match losing spell in Sunday’s Carnegie Challenge Cup fourth round tie at home to Swinton Lions (3pm).
Jowitt, who is operating with one of the lowest budgets in the Co-operative Championship and has assembled probably the youngest squad in the division, has admitted recent setbacks will be part of an important learning curve.
A fatigued Rams side were edged out 30-26 at York last Sunday and while Jowitt was disappointed with the result, he refused to knock his weary charges.
Jowitt said: “Anybody with a rugby brain who watched the York game will know that Dewsbury completely dominated but again it was individual errors that cost us.
“People who are knocking the team don’t know half of it and I am not about to start having a go at my lads, who are giving their all, digging deep and working hard for each other.”
Jowitt singled out Josh Tonks for particular praise after admitting the 19-year-old loose forward has been playing with a broken hand.
He added: “It annoys me when people start having a go at the likes of Josh Tonks, who has put his hands up and wanted to play just two-and-a-half weeks after breaking a hand.
“Patch Walker is another who has returned to playing four weeks after he had pins and screws put in his hand. These players are putting their busted bodies on the line for the club and I can’t fault them.”
Although victory in Sunday’s cup tie could earn Dewsbury a lucrative draw against a Super League club, Jowitt is afraid that involvement in all three competitions, could hinder the Rams’ league campaign.
He added: “We have to face facts. Dewsbury do not have the budget of Leigh and Featherstone. It would be good for the club and the fans to progress and I will be preparing a team to go out and win but advancing in these competitions could kill us later in the season.”
Dewsbury’s weary squad lost 56-24 at Halifax on Easter Monday, just four days after their 12-men battled hard in hot weather, in a 36-20 defeat by Batley Bulldogs.
The battered squad then lost at York but Jowitt refuses to be downbeat and has promised the side will bounce back.
Jowitt said: “We should have beaten Batley, even with 12 men but silly mistakes cost us three soft tries. We were poor at Halifax because we were jaded and fatigued but against York we were in control, but again individual errors cost us and we have to work at eradicating those.
“I made mistakes as a young player but I learned from them and my players have to do the same.”
Austin Buchanan and Ayden Faal have both spent time on the sidelines after being dropped but have come back to hit real form.
The Rams will be without prop Anthony England who was banned for one match and fined £50 by the RFL disciplinary committee on Wednesday after being sent off against Batley earlier this month.
Warrington dual registration player Brooke Broughton could also figure against a Swinton side who are on a 10-game winning run.
Jowitt added: “We have only lost four games and I know we are capable of achieving what we want. We will bounce back but it’s no good people moaning and groaning. They have to realise Dewsbury are a low budget team, who are giving their all.”
On Saturday May 21 Dewsbury Rams’ cheerleaders are doing a bag-pack at Quality Save Dewsbury to raise funds for equipment.